first author of the 9th century CE Zoroastrian compilation, the Dēnkard


ĀDURFARNBAG Ī FARROXZĀDĀN (Pārsī: Ādar-farrāʾ Farroḵzādān), first author of the 9th century A.D. Zoroastrian compilation, the Dēnkard. He is referred to there as leader of the Wehdēns (those of the Good Religion, i.e., Zoroastrianism); hence he is usually identified with the officially recognized leader of the orthodox Zoroastrian community who debated with Abāliš before the ʿAbbasid caliph, al-Maʾmūn (197-218/813-33). He seems to have been a major intellectual figure in the Zoroastrian church, and his alleged sayings were frequently cited, by younger contemporary writers and later ones, as authoritative. Mardānfarrox ī Ohrmazddādān refers to him a number of times and freely excerpts from the Dēnkard in his own apologetic work, Škand gumānīg wizār (J.-P. de Menasce, ed. and tr., Škand Gumānīk Vicār [Collectanea Friburgensia 30], Fribourg en Suisse, 1945, 4.107, 9.3, 10.55). In fact, Škand 9 in its entirety is Dēnkard 3.239A. Dēnkard manuscripts lack the text of this chapter; but its title matches that of the Škand chapter, and Mardānfarrox acknowledges the Dēnkard as his source for it. Manūčihr calls Ādurfarnbag the highest leader of the Wehdēns in his Dādistān ī denīg, question 87, par. 8 (Codices Avestici et Pahlavici III/1, Copenhagen, 1944, fol. 195r.16). The same author relies in his Letters on the authoritativeness of Ādurfarnbag’s pronouncements (B. N. Dhabhar, ed., Nāmakīhā-i Mānūshchīhar, Bombay, 1912, 1.3.9). Ādurfarnbag himself wrote an Ēwēn-nāmag on the principles of Zoroastrian religion; a condensed version of it comprises Dēnkard 4 (ed. Madan, pp. 409-31). Ādurfarnbag is there revealed as deeply reflective and taking a philosophical approach to Zoroastrian doctrine. Dēnkard 5 purports to give Ādurfarnbag’s answers to two individuals (Yaʿqūb-e Ḵāledān and a Christian named Boxt-Mārī) about Zoroastrian belief and ritual; see M. F. Kanga, “Pursisnīhā i Boxt-Mārā ut-sān Passoxᵛīhā, a Pahlavi Text” [sic], Indian Linguistics 25, 1964, pp. 3-20. A collection of sayings (wāzag) is also ascribed to him (Pahlavi Texts, pp. 79-80; S. K. Dastur Meherji Rana, Denâ Vâjak i Aîchand i Atropãt Mârespandân or Some of the Sayings of Adarbad Marespand, Bombay, 1930).

Bibliography: Given in the text.


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آذرفرنبگ فرخزادان      


(A. Tafażżolī)

Originally Published: December 15, 1983

Last Updated: July 22, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 5, pp. 477-478

Cite this entry:

A. Tafażżolī, “Adurfarnbag I Farroxzadan,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/5, pp. 477-478; an updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/adurfarnbag-i-farroxzadan-parsi-adar-farra-farrokzadan-first-author-of-the-9th-century-a (accessed on 6 March 2014).